Young Muslims, religiosity and citizenship practices in contemporary Australia (18876)
This paper investigates the role religiosity plays in the ways young Australian Muslims enact themselves as citizens in a context in which their right to belong to the political community is often seriously questioned. Australian responses to 9/11, 7/7 and the Cronulla Riots have relied on an understanding of Muslim youth identity that sees young Muslims’ religiosity primarily as a barrier to the development of good citizenship practices. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the ways in which religiosity informs the everyday acts of citizenship through which young Muslims challenge dominant narratives of citizenship. Drawing on an ethnographic study of two Melbourne-based Shia youth groups, I look at the subjective accounts of multicultural citizenship that youth group members shared in the course of the groups’ weekly activities. In doing so, I draw particular attention to the role religion plays in the imaginative ways young Australian Muslims fashion themselves into citizens.